Big news has arrived for many university students this week; turns out that you no longer have to wait until August to find out your overall, and summer exam, results…sorry A-level students!
So, first and foremost, just in case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve passed my first year of university! *Fanfare music*. I think it’s probably also appropriate to explain that although most student’s first year “doesn’t count”, the relief of knowing I achieved some mentally set goals is reward enough for me. There’s so much misconception about the achievements of your first year, and genuinely, I think that the process is very much lost in the mix of other first year mayhem. I wanted to write down a few thoughts I’ve had on this matter, and perhaps explain how you can achieve in different ways, throughout your first year of university.
1. Yes, it’s true in most cases (please do CHECK for your own personal course), the marks you get in first year DO NOT count towards your overall degree! I believe the purpose of this is mainly so you are able to settle into university life, and actually get used to the type and standard of work you will need to produce in the following years of your degree; in this way this gives you two basic choices as to how to spend your time…
2. More Play, Less Work: To put it simply, it is totally possible to go through first year with simple pass grades (40-49%), and this won’t directly impact the marks you receive throughout the rest of your degree. Although I can’t advocate the use of the ominous one-nighters, I do accept them as a viable option. In the meantime, such methods give you more opportunities to build a social life, by joining multiple societies, bonding with flatmates, and partaking in more than a few nights out. You also get the advantage of having more time to master your culinary and domestics skills, which are often rather lacking upon arrival.
3. More Work, Less Play: Alternatively to the previous method, and probably more similar to my experience, you really focus on homing your essay technique or nailing the use of your hardest formulas. Generally this gives you the advantage of finding out how you work most efficiently, and how much time you need to complete a set task, with an overall aim of improvement. The downside, as you’ve probably guessed, is a potentially less active social life, in which case ‘fomo’ is definitely real. There’s an overwhelming feeling that you’re being sensible, and yet, even when you feel your work is improving, you’re worrying that you will look silly and unsociable for taking so much time over assignments that ‘don’t count’.
My verdict? First year is actually all about finding a balance between study and your social life; it’s harder than you might think. But I definitely believe it’s a time to be a little more self-centered than you’d naturally feel necessary- find what works for YOU! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve found my balance yet, but I’m getting there, an assignment and a night out at a time.
Take Care Everyone, Speak to You All Soon!